tv Bob Woodward CSPAN September 22, 2012 8:00pm-8:55pm EDT
>> i wanted to get involved in politics after watching politics on c-span. i love the current events. i love the hot topics at come up. i love watching it. i look pulling it up on my mobile device. >> she watches c-span. c-span, created in 1979. brought to you as a public service by your television provider. this week, "the communicators" look at the rapid growth of mobile apps and issues surrounding them. >> recently the federal trade commission issued new guidelines when it comes to mobile apps on mobile phones. joining us is a federal trade
commissioner julie brill on "the communicators para " what were the guidelines that were issued and why now? >> they weren't there to inform the community. -- they are there to inform the community. it is designed to inform them that there are laws to help them figure out how to make sure that their products are in compliance with our laws. that is the overall goal of the guidelines. why now? the apps economy is booming. there are many consumers who are using apps on their smart phones. apps have a unique ability to
collect information. they can collect very detailed information about consumers. they can access their location, content from the phone such as the contact list, user identification, all sorts of information that requires careful sneaking by app developers. there is a tremendous innovation in this space. we want to make sure that they understand there are consumer protection laws that apply to them. >> are these guidelines? indeed these have the effect of law? >> no, these are guidelines. these are designed to inform the app developers and third-party, everyone in this space about things they should be thinking about to make sure they are in compliance with the law. frankly, we think many of the apps guidelines will help them create better products that
generate consumer trust. >> if an app is asking for a contact list for saying that by downloading this app, you have to give us your contact last enter e-mails and who you call and you agree to that, what is the purpose of getting that information? what will the company do with that information? >> that is one of the things we're asking them to think about. the first point is that consumers, as parents downloading apps for their kids, they need to understand what information is collected and why. this information needs to be clear to consumers before the double the app -- download the app.
be clear to consumers are up front, either in the act store or on the web page -- app storm or on the web page about the information you are selecting. second, we are trying to encourage developers to figure out what information they really need to get the app to be functional. if the consumer is playing an app game, do they really need radiolocation? -- geolocation? what information is really needed to make the app functional? who else should see it? should access be limited? how long do you need to retain it? when you are done with it, what will you do with it? those are the kinds of questions that basically go
into a perspective about privacy and data collection that we call privacy by design. we want the app to be thinking about this up front. >> the problem is from some perspective is that if you do not allow that kind of information to be shared, you cannot download the app. >> you might not be able to. short answer, you are right. the consumer suspend -- will be able to make an informed choice about whether they want to download the app. it might be the case that when consumers understand how much information is collected, the have a tendency to not download the apps. this kind of truthful, transparent information about
data practice might have an effect on app developers who might be able to think, let's think about whether we really need all of this data. >> are all of the guidelines dealing with privacy issues? >> the new guidelines are broken down into two parts. one is privacy. the other aspect is about truthful advertising. make sure that the apps community understands that they are marketing a product. they are making promises to consumers or telling them that there app will do something. they need to ensure that every claim they make about their app is truthful. one example, we recently did a case involving an app a clan that if you held it up to the sink, it could treat acne.
they were unable to substantiate that claim. that is false advertising. we want the app committee to understand that if the claims something, the have to be able to back that up. >> someone tried to download and app. what would be the possible purpose, besides marketing, of that application knowing where i am and who i am calling? >> i think there is not a related toat is the that, per se. we have to be able to monetized our effort. what we do is that we provide
data for the purpose of advertising. we might help others advertise or we might advertise to you. the most important point is that you, as a consumer, understand that could be happening. if all this data can be collected for the purpose of bringing you targeted advertising and you are ok with annual download the app knowing that. >> are you getting a lot of consumer complaints apps apps and privacies? -- about apps and privacies? >> privacy is something that is certainly growing in the consumer consciousness. we're starting to your a lot about it. privacy is one of the issues that consumers might not understand as easily as they would since they bought a product and were on able to get a refund. there are some contracts that
consumers have that are potentially problematic. we will hear about those in that telemarketing scams. things like that. when it comes to privacy, consumers do not have all the tools they need to understand what is happening with their data collection. what you expect this morning, for instance, when you try to download the flashlight app, consumers do wonder why in all of the information is needed. should i download the of app? we are getting this swelling concern of what is happening with the data. i do not know if it is complaints in the same way as other cases. >> in a related issue, the sec is also investigating the information -- fcc is also investigating that information on the market and where it goes. >> for instance, data brokers.
yes. we have in a report issued seven months ago, we have highlighted some concerns are around that data broker community. data broker or entities that collect vast amount of information of all of us, both online and offline, compiled and into profiles about each of us. they sell that information for various purposes and to be used by various entities for marketing. sometimes to make eligibility determinations for things to credit and insurance, etc. i think the agency as a whole has expressed concern over whether consumers really understand what is happening in this industry. we think that data brokers -- some of them provide consumers information with what they do, but consumers do not have any
idea who they are. they do not interact directly with consumers. they collect data and sell it to third parties. they do not interact with consumers. consumers do not know who the are. they do not know how to determine what kind of data they have about them and whether or not it needs to be corrected. there are lots of transparency issues that we think need to be addressed in this data brokerage industry. app disregards the guidelines, what happens? >> if they disregard the guidelines, we will not bring an action against them for disregarding the guidelines. the guidelines are best practices. if an app may turn is
engendering consumer trust, that will help them with their marketing and the growth of their product. elements are not followed, an app developer can find themselves under our certainty. -- scrutiny. they might cross the line into not following the law. not following the guidelines means they can run into trouble down the road. >> indeed think the laws are clear enough for a modern and off? i would like to see action from congress? >> i believe and my colleagues believe that congress should enact a privacy law in this country. i think we have good protections, but we could have better protections. especially with technology
advancing so rapidly. it is time to be clear about what the rules of the road are. we did the best that we can. we issue guidelines. i go around to business as all the time and speak with law enforcement. at the end of the day, the law would provide clear rules of the road for everyone. that would benefit businesses and consumers. with respect to data brokers and that transparency around the practices -- fcc work withpthe other agencies? who takes the lead? >> we do what congress tells us to do. they have given us a very expensive law dealing with privacy. it is a general law that we in
force. we also have laws in particular areas that we in force involving children's privacy, financial privacy, some medical information, so we are very much involved in privacy in many ways. we are leading privacy law enforcement. the fcc has a very important role when it comes to carriers and other entities in the mobile space. >> would it be possible to have a dual system? if you want this app, you can pay $1 and we will not attract you? or you can get it for free and we get your information. is that in our current world? >> i do think it is in our
current world. there are many entities that say we will target you with advertising or for one price or maybe free or a lower price, if you do not want to be advertised to come here is what the product will cost you. i think we might move into a world that is more along those lines and that does develop into that kind of business model. as long as the disclosure is clear to consumers and it is up front and as long as the type of data collection we are talking about is not invasive. as long as what we are talking about is normal tracking for the purpose of targeted advertising, that might be something we will be seeing relatively soon. >> if you want to read the guidelines, you can go to ftc.gov.
julie brill, one of the democratic commissioners on the federal trade commission. she has been our guest on "the communicators." , at next, representative -- comingup next, representative mary bono mack. you just held a hearing recently on apps. what was the point of the hearing? >> the point was to make sure that we are exploring this area. there are many jobs being created here. there are policies that we put forward in washington that do not -- it is a relatively new industry that has been on least because of great ideas. we do not want the government to come in and destroy that.
>> what were some of the problems that you saw in this area that you would like to address? >> one of the business problems is that there are still looking for more people to move into this industry and develop apps, all that goes into it. that is the biggest problem. some people are worried that people in washington will tell them how to do their business and hurt the growing business. the only real fear was workload issues. the rest of it is optimism. they recognized the growth in the industry. more and more people are turning to apps. the other night i was babysitting my grandson. he started crying. i did what any good grandparent would do, and i went to my ipad and tried to find the best app that would please the baby.
>> were you successful? >> i downloaded an app and my grandbaby would not have any of it. the point is, if there is a problem, there is an app on the market and we should go and see how but it is. that is what was exciting about the hearing. people are excited about the growth. >> isn't that where that jobs are? >> that is where the jobs are. >> day know what this would contribute to our economy at this point -- do you know what this would contribute to our economy at this point? >> i do not know if that is a good target number or if it will be higher than that. people are adopting more and more to the fact that there is an app for anything. if you think of something and you look for an app for it,
someone is a few steps ahead of you and it is on the market. a lot more software developers will recognize that the mobile at platform is the largest piecplace for people to go. >> many apps were downloaded plaster and christmas worldwide. many are free. how are the app makers making money? >> good question to ask them. there are various business models out there. many are making money. some are perhaps losing money. one of the questions that congress will ask is -- is our -- how are youdata monetizing? you do have to ask -- what are
we giving up for a free app? many are making a lot of money. look at zynga. anyone who plays "words with friends" knows it's very popular. there is a business model that they used to become successful. mack --rep mary bono representative mary bono mack, earlier we spoke with julie brill. >> i think there is always a pressure that congress can put on a voluntary guidelines that the industry uses. i think the ftc is constantly evolving with their view on privacy.
i think we have proven the case that we can still innovation if become in too and heavy-handed. i appreciate that the ftc has taken the approach to let them self-regulate. they know it is in their best interest to provide something for the consumer that does not go to double over par. the real issue is how much of it is guidelines and how much of it is self-regulated. >> when it comes to the privacy issues, what is your philosophy? >> my philosophy is to move slowly. there are a lot of things that kind of have the "ucyuck factor" -- something that has gone to double over par. the american consumer is
realizing that they are giving up their privacy for convenience. the consumer is choosing. in order to proceed further, you need to enable your tracking device. are you ok with that? the american symbols the yes because they want the app so badly. -- the american consumer will say, yes, because they want the app so badly. >> last week on this program, we talked with their fellow at energy and commerce committee member. we talked about the need for a more comprehensive telecom rewrite or privacy bill. what are your views on that? >> he has been taught an awful
lot, but in this space, it is more have be regulated and i believe it is wise. i care about california companies and innovation that is driven out of california. perhaps i care more for the companies and start-ups that are saying, do not regulate this space. i think he believes that things are technologically feasible when i am not sure that they are. these are questions for committee hearings. >> how would you grade the health of the tech community? >> i would grade it as an extremely strong and growing. yesterday i asked a very important question -- are we headed toward another tech bubble? our wheat risking -- are we
too good to-- is this be true? people are optimistic that this is a strong economy. i believe that to be true. >> last time we talk with you, you were holding hearings about sony play station and the data breach. what is the status of that? >> it is a work in progress. it should be moving quicker that it is. every week there is a new breach. in my view, there is more reason to bring the consumer on board so that they are at the heart of the process of stopping these data bridges. in the congress, there is still some give and take. i have had to sort of weave through the personalities
in congress to find the right bill. some questioned the need for a federal regime or federal law as opposed to all of the different states have in their own patchwork laws. this is one of the examples of things that will have to happen for law makers to gt it. -- get it. >> dec them coming back in the lame duck session? -- do you see them coming back in the lame-duck session? >> the issue on the table right now will be around a little bit longer. i didn't know whether it will be in a lame-duck session. in the senate, there is a lot of debate about how to move forward. in my view, i support senator mccain and his philosophy. it is the best way to do it. we should not stop private
industry to the government and let the government to mandate what its technologies are. the government, especially congress, it tends to be much lower in the space than in the private industry. the government is finally passing what is antiquated. it can be a problem rather than a solution. >> mary bono mack is chair of the energy commerce committee. she is a republican from california. when it comes to children, do you view privacy legislation differently? >> well, we all do. of course. we all agreed that our children need to be protected differently. the problem is, for example, facebook. when we talk about trying to regulate differently for
children, we have to recognize that children are often given tools to participate as older children or adults by their parents. we're trying to prevent a problem that is being circumvented by parents in parental controls. we are trying to establish changes in the age, but parents reject that. the problem here is -- what are we stopping? hear that toys r us is coming out with a tablet. this is something that we need to look at. is this something to be concerned about? or is it a wonderful tool for kids?
>> recently, there has been some articles about data it sellers and data brokers. they are taking information from apps and selling it. do you agree with looking into where that information is going? >> i perhaps have a little bit different philosophy. every piece of data we put out on to that data is being collected in many places anyway. the consumer should be careful about what they are willing to put out there. data brokers can sort of build a data base and combine all the data and put it together. is there a healthy purpose for that or not? to me, the consumer needs to recognize that if you're putting it out there, someone is collecting it out there. it could be a data collector or an individual app. the consumer should educate
themselves about data and be careful of what they put out there. >> if you remain share of your yourmmittee, -- chair ofyou subcommittee, what issues would you like to look at? >> i think apps are a very exciting place to go. it is almost like someone created a microwave oven in the app space. everyone is using them. how do we continue to encourage this to flourish and do well? i do we prevent dormant from stifling innovation? -- how do we prevent government from stifling information? also, manufacturing. we will look at manufacturing
and bringing jobs back. >> mary bono mack, chair of the energy trade commission. this is "the communicators" on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> when i first came, my experience is that they would be our agents. i started in a mortgage fraud unit. i did not know the big picture of what they're doing. when i got the job and came down, i met them. starting with those meetings and over the next couple of years, i found that the inspector supposed to's are be a fierce watchdog's looking out for waste and abuse. that is written into the statute
and but they are supposed to be doing. it had become often any other government agency. the number one concern was about the budget and how to preserve it. they're worried about clashing with management and to develop much interaction with congress. it was very much a go along and get along kind of attitude. i kept hearing it over and over again that there were three different types of ig's -- lap dog, watch dog, and junk yard dog. when i was going to the confirmation process, i was told by senator baucus, that i needed to be like a junkyard dog. >> more from his book "bailout and " sunday night at 8:00 p.m.
their " >> nowa a conversation with paul surprise winner, bob woodward, on his latest book "the price of politics." this program is about 55 minutes. host: bob woodward is the author of "the price of politics." have written about 12 books now. what is the story you're trying to tell here? host: 1 of the things that happens is that we run by history. -- guest: the daily reporting is exceptionally good or the long pieces
capture a lot but we run by history and we do not know what really happened and i have the luxury of time and can dig back in and this is an examination of what obama and the congress have done for this period -- for 3 1/2 years, from the beginning of the administration to the summer. host: what is the central part of this story? guest: the drama is this affects everyone. get control of the spending instead of -- we are on a binge now, a spending binge. we cannot keep borrowing all of this money. it describes in painful detail the meetings and phone calls and the internal discussions. a lot of discussion inside the white house.
you see what they are doing. last summer on the effort to get congress to increase the authorization for spending and borrowing. the president has a private meeting with his senior staff. it is called by the people in the white house the king solomon moment. the president says that he is like king solomon. he cannot divide the baby. he has to do something to stabilize the economy. he has less leverage in these negotiations. that realization is accurate. you can see his reasoning and the debate within the white house. host: the role of john boehner last year. guest: he went to the president and he proposed tax reform, and the president said he was willing to go along with the entitlement reform. half the book is this 44 days,
and economic cuban missile crisis where they are trying to do something. the end result is to push everything off, all the tough decisions to 2013. host: they come up with the sequestration plan. where're at a point automatic spending cuts go through january, 2013. we went back into the c-span archives to illustrate your coverage. president obama comes before the cameras and so does john boehner. the reaction to that. [video clip] >> i did not see a path to a deal if they do not budge. if the basic proposition is, it is "my way or the highway, we
will probably not get it done." we have democrats controlling the senate. we will need democratic votes in the house for any democratic package to pass. if in fact mitch mcconnell and john boehner are sincere that they do not want to see u.s. government default, they have to compromise, just like democrats have to compromise. i have shown myself willing to compromise. >> the president continues to insist on raising taxes. they are not serious about entitlement reform. to solve the problem for the near and in the immediate future. i want to get there. i want to do what i think is in the best interests of the country. it takes two to tangle. they are not there yet.
>> this will take political capital on both sides. i am willing to take my fair share of it. let's step up and do the right thing for the country. host: what is going on behind the scenes? guest: so much. they having meetings. he goes down to the white house. they have a meeting on the patio off the oval office. boehner is having merlo and having a cigarette in the president is having ice-t and chewing a nicorette. they start the process.
politics intervenes. the politics is the president cannot control the democratic party and boehner cannot control the house republicans. it is fascinating to hear their internal debates in the capital and then down in the white house. you see them coming together and i have elaborate notes from meetings and discussions. you can see there is a level of seriousness and engagement that no one had the stamina to do the details and make sure that this worked. it was convenient for everyone to put off until 2013 so it would not be an election issue, so no one
would be having advance or enacted a law that involved pain. host: fast for 11 days later. president obama comes out before the cameras. take a look. [video clip] >> this was an extraordinarily fair deal. if it was on balance, it was on -- unbalanced, it was un balance in the direction of not enough revenue. but in the interest of being serious about deficit reduction, i was willing to take a lot of heat from my party. i spoke to democratic leaders yesterday. they were willing to engage in serious negotiations. despite a lot of heat from interest groups from the country to make sure that we dealt with this problem.
it is hard to understand why speaker boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. look at the commentary out there. a lot of republicans are puzzled as to what it could not get done. host: speaker boehner has his own response on the same day. [video clip] >> we have but plan after plan on the table. we had our plan out there. house passed the cut cap and balance. never once did the president come to the table with a plan. we were always pushing. sometimes it is good to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest. i came back away from the tree to take a look at the forest.
i consulted with my fellow leaders and others about the way to go forward. i want to tell you what i said several weeks ago. dealing with the white house is like dealing with a bowl of jell-o. guest: the back story is an laws. six senators propose more revenue for tax reform then obama was offering. it was house decided -- it is fascinating how this all occurred. the former campaign manager deciding that the president should offer at least as much revenue as the six senators had, and that
includes three republicans. the president picked up the phone and called speaker boehner the day before what occurred here. he said, let's consider $400 billion more. speaker insisted it was a demand. no one else was present. monumental communications lapse. it broke down on this day. the president was waiting for a call from boehner. boehner would not call him back. he said he was trying to work out a deal with the leaders. the next day, the president calls the congressional leaders to the white house and saturday
morning, 11:00 a.m., the congressional leaders asked him to leave the meeting. the president said he was not going to stand on protocol as they tried to work a deal at the white house. which they did. it work for a while. harry reid backed away from the congressional deal and joined forces with the president. it is in the details that the decisions and the negotiations hung. host: lydia from illinois.
go ahead. lydia, are you there? go ahead. caller: good morning. it was noted that reporters -- i think that's what you're doing. it is out there. this info. "wall street journal." newt gingrich devised the strategy of transforming the house as a way to drive the national agenda. it was outlined in a book in 2009 when newt gingrich was part of a group that met and devise a process to obstruct. mr. boehner was one of the key lieutenants.
back in 1995. his following the process. i'm waiting for you. i want you to identify it now. we need information to understand the process because -- guest: i get your question. it's a good one. i assemble all this in a book at present before the election so people can make an evaluation. it has the details from what occurred over three and a half years. if he do it daily reporting of this, you cannot accumulate the information. i have found this to be the case over 40 years. the reactions to who obstructed or who did not do what was
necessary. people had different opinions. this was politically neutral presentation of what occurred. some people will say the republicans were awful, they not unified. -- were not unified. speaker boehner had the tea party which she could not control. -- he could not really control. others say the president was not aggressive enough and could not control the democrats. i point the finger at everyone but make the point, it gets down to presidential leadership. the president is the one that has to work his will or find a way to do that. in this case, he did not. you asked about the past and the future. the future is we're back in this mess again.
the exact issues will come before us in a couple of months. congress authorized expanded borrowing up to the point -- we will be there in january of next year. the white house, whoever is there, has to go to congress and say, "we need more borrowing authority to the tune of trillions of dollars." we are borrowing more than we spend. everyone acknowledges this. totally unsustainable path. host: we have a tweet on our twitter page from rightwing. guest: potus is president of the united states. you can see exactly what
happened. it explains it. it has the back channel conversations, the notes of the meetings, and the interviews with people. just to take an example. part of the solution of last year would be setting up a super committee to come up with $1.2 trillion. everybody said this would work. harry reid said it was a sure thing. mitch mcconnell expected it to work. committee met. the mechanism was to come up with this deficit reduction. havef you don't, we'll
sequestration, means forced spending cuts immediately in 2013 in a way that is decided almost with a hatchet, so everyone gets cut. pentagon. medical research. the super committee failed. that is what we are stuck with. host: james from louisiana. caller: who do you think is calling the shots in the white house? the thing it is valerie jarrett -- do you think it is valerie jarrett or the other end of the chicago machine. thati is all. guest: the president is calling
the shots. he is heavily influenced and the man who ran his successful campaign in 2008, the senior adviser and has the office closest to the oval office. geography is very significant. he is a very skilled political operative. when there is a decision to be made, he ways and with the political -- weighs in with the politcal angle. i would say his influence, valerie jarrett plays a role. there are many other people. the congressional liaison plays a significant role in all of
these. i layout exactly what happened, what we used to call the best obtainable version of the truth and it is often emotional. at many points it is complicated. host: the influence of joe biden in these talks. and the preparation and he did in what was known as the b iden group. guest: biden is critical on all of this. going back to 2010, after the democrats lost the house, obama center by -- sent vice president biden to negotiate with mitch mcconnell. in the west wing, joe biden is known as the mcconnell whisperer. he has the decades-long relationship with mcconnell to work out a deal.
they worked out a deal in 2010. they extended some low income programs. the philosophy is kind of old school. "you get some and i get some." that is what happened in 2010. in may, 2011, they came up with lots of cuts. there was a private talk with joe biden and eric cantor. "if we were in charge, we would be able to work this out." they identified hundreds of billions of dollars of potential cuts but potential cuts but